What Did He Know and When Did He Know It II

From the NY Times reporting we now have Geographic Combatant Commanders concerned about the stability of their own government:

Gen. Tony Thomas, head of the military’s Special Operations Command, expressed concern about upheaval inside the White House. “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war,” he said at a military conference on Tuesday.

Asked about his comments later, General Thomas said in a brief interview, “As a commander, I’m concerned our government be as stable as possible.”

Once again we must ask: what did the President know and when did he know it? And we must expand that to the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, and a variety of others within the President’s inner circle.

As I wrote back in January before the then President-elect’s press conference:

As a national security professional, what I would like to see is the President-elect address the now long standing and ongoing allegations regarding his connection to Russia. If the allegations are spurious, as he and his team have claimed every time they’ve come up, or if there is a straightforward and simple explanation that can be made, he needs to make it. I think a lot of the foreign, defense, and national security policy concerns that many across the political spectrum have with the President-elect’s longstanding policy preferences dating back to 1987 arise from all of the smoke around the claims of Russian connections and interference for Russia’s, not the US’s, not the President-elect’s, interests.

I can now state that just based on open source reporting and social media behavior I can place almost everyone in the President’s inner circle, professional and familial, as well as the President within three links, and in most cases two links, of Vladimir Putin or those within Putin’s orbit including Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs close to Putin. Rather than trying to make this go away, the President and those serving him seem to be unable to stop what they’re doing. And this is just through the first three weeks.

We are through the map and off the looking glass.

* Full disclosure: From May through August 2015 I was a Senior Fellow in the Center for Special Operations Study and Research at SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University. Prior to that I have provided support to SOCOM’s Civil Affairs Branch Capabilities Based Assessment in 2010 and to SOCOM’s Joint Civil Information Management Test Development (J-CIM TD) in 2010 and 2011 and helped write and edit the J-CIM Manuals and Handbook, and briefed members of the SOCOM J2 and J3 on terrorism and recidivism in April 2009.

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221 replies
  1. 1
    🚸 Martin says:

    Everyone pay attention to GA-06 as well. Multitask, motherfuckers…

    Four more Republicans and three more Democrats joined the melee over Tom Price’s former District 6 seat on Tuesday.

    That brings the total number of candidates running to 15, with nine of them Republicans, five Democrats and one independent.

  2. 2
    Timurid says:

    The 9/28 joint session is going to be a turning point. Trump is going to ask Congress and all of his supporters to stand with him whatever happens. Impeachment or coronation, lady or tiger.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    Lets remember, always, that Mitch McConnell blocked release of similar information during the campaign.

  4. 4
    Seth Owen says:

    Well, for those too young to have lived through the 60s — this is what real History looks like.

    This is the Guns of August, Day of Infamy, Missiles of October, JFK, RFK, MLK assassination, Watergate, 9/11-level History.

    Buckle up.

  5. 5
    dr. bloor says:

    Harry Reid made it clear in his letter to Comey that they already had evidence of communication between the campaign and Russia. How long did the simpletons in the WH and their CI stooges think they could keep it under wraps?

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Sure wish America had had this conversation BEFORE THE FUCKING ELECTION!

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    Also, too, this year’s State of the Union is going to be interesting. In many many ways.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    We are through the map and off the looking glass.

    Adam, I hope you’ve programmed that in as a macro, because I’m pretty sure those ten words are going to get one hell of a workout in the next year or so.

  9. 9
    amk says:

    horse, bolt and all that?

    hopefully it’s not too lil, too late.

  10. 10
    🚸 Martin says:

    @dmsilev: Formally, an Inaugural Address, but otherwise the same thing.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Now lets not be hasty and do anything rash…

  12. 12
    dr. bloor says:

    @amk: Politically, it might be–they’re not going to hold a do-over for the election–but in the very least, this stuff needs to be brought into the sunlight and collaborators need to go, even if it means suffering through President Ryan.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Yes, I know I’ve bigfooted myself, which is kind of ironic as I’m part Sasquatch. Also, I put up a full disclosure on this post as well given my work at and for SOCOM.

  14. 14
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    CNN says they have names of Trump campaign officials who communicated with Russian operatives. Not releasing yet because seeking comment.

  15. 15
    Bupalos says:

    @Gin & Tonic: no puppet!! No puppet!!! You’re the puppet!!

  16. 16
    🚸 Martin says:

    There will be questions regarding what the FBI knew prior to the Inauguration and whether Comey disclosed that information to the Obama WH. This is going to unravel everything.

  17. 17
    debbie says:

    This morning, Russia was pooh-poohing Flynn’s resignation as “American hysteria,” which tells me there’s definitely something behind all these rumors.

  18. 18
    efgoldman says:

    We are through the map and off the looking glass.

    Jeebus H
    Fucking Tricksie Dicksie Nixie covered up a third rate burglary, which exposed ancillary bullshit. He never tried to give the fucking country away.
    That an active senior military leader would speak openly and publicly as Gen Thomas had is really, really scary. Does he speak for himself? A group of top commanders? JCS level?
    Under normal circumstances the president would fire him on the spot, and justifiably so.

  19. 19
    Timurid says:

    Trump has rolled up the map and is using it to blow rails off the looking glass.

  20. 20
    Lapassionara says:

    @Timurid: 9/28?

  21. 21
    Mike J says:

    Ladbrokes has Trump at 1.72 (8/11) to serve out his full term and 2.10 (11/10) to resign or be impeached. A surprisingly narrow spread 3 weeks in.

    Sadly there’s no historical data to compare it against.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dr. bloor: Ryan and McConnell were briefed before the election. McConnell told President Obama he’d make a partisan issue of this if it came out before the election. An independent prosecutor needs to be appointed.

  23. 23
    TriassicSands says:

    A. WaPo:

    Trump’s team initially was skeptical about details of Flynn’s contacts with Russia

    B. NYT:

    Trump aides and associates made repeated contact with senior Russian officials during the 2016 campaign

    A and B are both up on the respective websites at this moment.

    How can you possibly reconcile A and B?

  24. 24
    efgoldman says:

    @dmsilev:

    this year’s State of the Union is going to be interesting. In many many ways.

    I still think all of the Dems should boycott, walk out, or silently rise and turn their backs. THIS IS NOT FUCKING NORMAL!

  25. 25
    Timurid says:

    @Lapassionara: Typo. Should be ‘2/28.’

  26. 26
    Brent says:

    @Gin & Tonic: C’mon man! There was no time for that discussion. It would have taken valuable time away from the examination of Hillary’s email server protocol violations.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, I’ve only been screaming about Manafort and the Russian connection since Il Donaldo hired him last March. Don’t want to be fucking hasty.

    Anybody with two eyes and a brain could have connected these dots before Memorial Day.

  28. 28
    amk says:

    I wonder how the military minions who ‘endorsed’ and stood behind the corrupt fucker for photo-ops feel now.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    Man, if I lived just a few miles away….

  30. 30
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @amk: They’re fine with, Hillary lost.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The entire GOP is now the party of treason.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @TriassicSands: Different aides/members of the team? I doubt they can keep it straight at this point, why should we stress about it? =)

    Sunday night many of us noted it was likely to be a very, very exciting week.

    Monday night some of us noted that Flynn was out, one way or another.

    Wednesday morning is coming up shortly, and while I still think Trumpov will be president through February, I’m going to have to take a look at those betting markets for March and beyond. I know Watergate took forever, I know Orangemandias will not go quietly…but still!

    Keep up the pressure! Be happy warriors, people! (And perhaps begin to consider how we might help put the country back together once Trumpov & Co are removed from power)

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Lapassionara says:

    @Timurid: thx

  35. 35
    dr. bloor says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I agree, but how far can you reasonably expect to go down the line of succession if you knock out Trump and Pence? What did Orrin Hatch know beforehand? Would Rex Tillerson be considered clean because he wasn’t in on it, or are Cabinet secretaries considered “fruit from the poisoned tree” in this case?

  36. 36
    TriassicSands says:

    Imagine if you’d been in a coma for the past fifteen months and just woke up.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Seth Owen:

    This is the Guns of August, Day of Infamy, Missiles of October, JFK, RFK, MLK assassination, Watergate, 9/11-level History.

    I was born in 1942. I remember vividly most of those things, and had first-hand reminiscences of those two events I don’t remember, from family members who did.

  38. 38
    Gravenstone says:

    @Timurid: More like using it to do lines of coke off the looking glass.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Jeffro says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think there’s a case to be made that the Russian-co-opted Trump campaign was essentially an act of war (rhetorically speaking) by Russia; therefore, it is void and HRC wins. But that is problematic for several reasons and well…I put up a solution last thread. It’s extremely boring so it just might work.

  41. 41
    Jeffro says:

    @dr. bloor: Please see #40 above and also last thread. There are ways out of this that don’t involve Pence or Ryan becoming president.

  42. 42
    Tim F. says:

    Nobody has ever needed a terrorist attack as badly as Trump needs one right now.

  43. 43
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Thank you SO MUCH, Adam, for your expertise and efforts here!

    Hey, fellow BJers who Facebook (I don’t), what is the reaction among your right-winger friends to all of this? Radio silence? Denial? Blaming of the media?

    I think that this particular metric is of genuine interest.

  44. 44
    NoraLenderbee says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Fuckin A right.

  45. 45
    Calouste says:

    @efgoldman: Thomas is special operations. I assume they have plans on file to storm the White House in case of a hostage situation or so, and the Secret Service won’t stand a chance against special forces. This might be a hint that in an extreme situation the military won’t take the side of the current regime.

  46. 46
    TriassicSands says:

    @Jeffro:

    Different aides/members of the team?

    That doesn’t work since Trump is at the head of it all. There is no way that all these people were talking to the Russians without his knowledge. Is there? Yeah, he’s an idiot surrounded by idiots, but still…

    Not stressing at all. I’m enjoying myself…but just a little.

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: Do not believe anything until the Kremlin denies it. They’ve been denying all of it.

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Dead silence, but I assumed they’d blocked my posts.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    amk says:

    meanwhile in the rethug wasteland that is oklahoma, where the women are mere vessels/vassals.

  51. 51
    🚸 Martin says:

    @dr. bloor: Well, they can go down to Betsy DeVos if need be. Nobody would doubt she was clueless about all of this.

    I noted yesterday that the GOP has an interesting calculation to make. If Dems look like they could take the House in 2018, and impeachment looks inevitable, they could be motivated to jump on that and get it over with early to ensure that a Dem speaker doesn’t wind up in the succession list – even if Ryan, etc removed because it would at least put a GOP in the WH. Dems would be motivated to drag the impeachment out until that election takes place.

    This shitshow is going to last 2 years, guaranteed.

  52. 52
    Jeffro says:

    @TriassicSands: he’s the weakest manager we’ve had in the WH in a long, long while…it’s not only possible but likely that people were working at cross purposes (both intentionally and unintentionally)

  53. 53
    TriassicSands says:

    @Tim F.:

    Nobody has ever needed a terrorist attack as badly as Trump needs one right now.

    That’s true, but it’s also true that we may be more vulnerable right now than usual. The government, such as it is, is in chaos and virtually leaderless.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    Whatever they’re calling it, I’m asking right now for the over-under on Trump’s talking about his popular vote margin or inaugural crowd size or something with NUMBERZZ proving his vast superiority over Crooked Hillary and, well, pretty much everyone.

  55. 55
    TriassicSands says:

    @Jeffro:

    But, but, but…The Art of the Deal (laughter).

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I believe you, me, and several others did here in real time.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tim F.: The “terrorist attack” will happen in NY, or LA, or Chicago. Blue cities in blue states.

  58. 58
    Gian says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Now?
    Candidate Nixon sabotaged Vietnam peace talks. Candidate Reagan and Iran hostages?
    Now?
    Same as it ever waa

  59. 59
    amk says:

    @TriassicSands: No, they are not idiots. They are all corrupt fuckers who did all these willingly and knowingly.

  60. 60
    Lapassionara says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: yes. Me too. I miss Obama.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    @🚸 Martin: It’s a stolen seat from a poisoned election. Seat the popular vote winner.

    Or hold a fresh election. It kills me that the GOP could pass a stolen presidency around. Fuckers.

  62. 62
    p.a. says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Anybody with two eyes and a brain could have connected these dots before Memorial Day.

    Well that exonerates Rethugs and the media…

  63. 63

    Sooo, any precedent for this much leakage about an administration from the TLA’s?

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): here’s my RWNJ dad’s response to my email victory lap this morning re: Flynn

    There seems to be much more to this than has been released by the WH. I would support a third party investigation that includes the leaks and any redacted transcripts between the parties being released. Can’t fathom how Flynn thought he would be able to call without our intel picking up the transmission and the Russian’s responses as well. Would really like to know how Flynn went off the rails

    (yes, I told him how and why Flynn went off the rails…)

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): You’re welcome and I didn’t even get into that LTG Flynn may have lied to the FBI when they interviewed him in January…
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/e.....le–7

    Another shoe seems to have dropped. The New York Times just reported that in the short window of time between President Trump’s inauguration on January 20th and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warning to the White House on January 26th, the FBI interviewed National Security Advisor Michael Flynn about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on December 29th, 2016.

    What the Times story does not say is what Flynn said. But the logic of the report certainly leaves the impression that Flynn was less than truthful. If that’s the case, the Flynn’s dismissal just went from being a political scandal to major legal jeopardy. You can’t lie to the FBI and people are routinely (often too routinely) prosecuted for doing so.

    If they have him on perjury they can squeeze him. The question that the President, VP, and others in the Administration need to be asking themselves is if they trust LTG Flynn to take the fall for them.

  66. 66
    Jeffro says:

    @TriassicSands: I know, right? Appearances are everything, I guess?

    @Adam L Silverman: half this board is so inside-baseball and on top of this, we should have a booking agent for the Sunday shows…oh that’s right, that’s not what those shows are about…ah well…

  67. 67
    🚧eric says:

    @Adam L Silverman: just think of the wattage for this story if Flynn should befall some accident or die in his sleep.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: I was actually planning on posting about that tonight, but things seem to keep getting in the way.

  69. 69
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🚧eric: I wonder if he likes tea?

  70. 70
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: Per my comments above and in a previous thread: if this were taken as a case of an entire class of citizens being denied their equal protection rights to vote due to an act of war by a hostile foreign power (and its enablers in Trump, GOP, etc) there’s no reason why SCOTUS couldn’t declare HRC the winner. “Just this once, not to be cited as precedent” a la Bush v Gore 2000.

    Right, GOP?

  71. 71
  72. 72
    amk says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, too many shitstorms all around to cover.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🚧eric: Its a sad enough end to a career that had been, until the DIA assignment, long and honorable and distinguished. How about we just hope he can make some peace with his demons in retirement.

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jeffro: That’s what I think. A one-time.

    But don’t reward the fucking Republicans for stealing a seat.

    And Comey for treason charges.

  75. 75
    dr. bloor says:

    @Jeffro: Who’s your fifth justice buying this argument in that scenario?

  76. 76
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Elizabelle: I feel the same way. Toss the Garland USSC nomination on that same pile.

    This is why I say this is a civil cold war. The GOP decided that anything short of violence was acceptable. The Dems are starting to catch on.

  77. 77
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    if they trust LTG Flynn to take the fall for them.

    If I was them I’d be more worried about Manafort. That dude has absolutely no loyalty to anyone once the check clears. And if the FBI has any brains at all (which I’m not sure about) they have had forensic accountants tracking down that $12 million for a while now.

  78. 78
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): So far. mine are parroting Trump kinship (“The real crime is the illegal leaks”) or ignoring it entirely and hauling off on lazy immigrants.

  79. 79
    efgoldman says:

    @amk:

    No, they are not idiots. They are all corrupt fuckers who did all these willingly and knowingly.

    Yes, they are idiots. None of those things is mutually exclusive. It’s all “and/or.”

  80. 80
    Mary G says:

    @efgoldman: I want them all to shout “you lie!” like that asshole did to Obama. Then when they scream about respect, decorum and civility, you did it first, and Trump’s mouth was open, so he was lying.

  81. 81
    TriassicSands says:

    @amk:

    No, they are not idiots.

    Apparently, we define “idiot” differently.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Him and Stone too. But given how LTG Flynn responded to being forced into an early retirement, he could go either way.

  83. 83
    GregB says:

    Has Melania told Donald to start playing solitaire yet?

  84. 84
    Elizabelle says:

    @dr. bloor: Time will tell us. More justices than you think might be horrified at watching this.

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mary G: I think the Democrats should just not attend. Silence is golden.

    Don’t descend to GOP manners, but don’t be a captive audience for Russia’s puppet either.

  86. 86
    GTC says:

    @dmsilev: The best ways. Just the greatest, greatest ways.

  87. 87
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If they have him on perjury they can squeeze him.

    “Can” is the operative verb here. We know who’s running DOJ now, and we know fucking-a well that any current RWNJ politician (and Sessions is nothing if not a politician) wants to drop this whole shitshow right down the rathole.
    He didn’t magically turn into a bastion of integrity when he was sworn in.

  88. 88
    rikyrah says:

    I like the way you write, Silverman.

  89. 89
    Jeffro says:

    @dr. bloor: You don’t see 5 justices? I see 6 – all of them but Alito and Thomas.

  90. 90
    enif says:

    the question should be what did the media know and when did they know it. most of the basic story was out before the election .but i guess it wouldn’t be good for the bottom line if i had been exposed before the election

  91. 91
    dr. bloor says:

    @Elizabelle: Being horrified is one thing. But from a legal standpoint, setting aside an established protocol for removing POTUS and VPOTUS and ruling the results of a certified election to be null and void is something else entirely.

  92. 92
    Tim F. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I doubt he has the spare wattage to organize anything at the moment. Plus all the intelligence agencies loathe him. When Putin won for the first time he was the KGB’s official man in Moscow. That FSB-organized apartment building bombing campaign which cemented Putin’s power was basically a coup by the security services against the rest of Russian civil society. Trump has the New York FBI’s undying loyalty, but with Comey it’s more of a general preference over Hillary than anything you could call passion. No American security service would dream of committing a deadly black bag operation, in America, for Trump. White supremacists would do it for him but I think you can see how that would be counterproductive. Honestly, the whole White House right now is a cannibal banquet in a shit tornado. It will impress me if Spicer holds his next press briefing fully dressed.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Again, the Counterintelligence investigation personnel don’t report to the AG.

  94. 94
    p.a. says:

    There was a National Lampoon article years ago on do-it-yourself-brain-surgery. 46.1% of Presidential voters gave the executive branch a lobotomy 3 months ago.

  95. 95
    Eric S. says:

    @amk: let’s not be so hasty. Trump is clearly an idiot.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    @efgoldman:
    it hurts to say anything positive about Tricky Dick….😄😄😄

  97. 97
    MoxieM says:

    Of the few RWNJs I see on FB, a prominent one is posting things like, “To be clear, nobody cares about anyone’s political opinions, right left or center.”

    Oh, how the tunes have changed.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: How about the way I write Silverman?

  99. 99
    🚧eric says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was not wishing for it. I am genuinely concerned that it is a possibility and it would send this to 11.

  100. 100
    Elizabelle says:

    Now the WaPost has the picture of Flynn sitting with Putin and Jill Stein at dinner up, under banner headline “Flynn Departure erupts into crisis for White House.”

    And me without popcorn at hand.

  101. 101
    Fair Economist says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Imagine if you’d been in a coma for the past fifteen months and just woke up.

    You’d probably conclude you were dying and were having delusions as your brain shut down.

  102. 102
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Harry Reid’s October letter to Comey that said “you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government” was 100% bang-on accurate.

    WaPo’s The Fix (ptuh ptuh feh) at the time called it “Harry Reid’s incendiary claim.”

    YUP.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tim F.:

    I’m still highly paranoid that Comey is himself compromised. He wasn’t one of the FBI guys who was in Opus Dei with Hanssen, was he?

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🚧eric: Tracking. Wasn’t trying to suggest you were expressing a hope for violence.

  105. 105
    TriassicSands says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think the Democrats should just not attend.

    Not attending would be good — especially if they could make it 100%.

    @p.a.:

    There was a National Lampoon article years ago on do-it-yourself-brain-surgery.

    Gee, that was National Lampoon? And Trump thought it was an NIH publication.

  106. 106
    Karen says:

    @amk:
    And “hosts.”

  107. 107
    TriassicSands says:

    @Fair Economist:

    I was thinking you’d conclude you had died and gone to Hell.

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: For all the good reporting Farenthold has done, the Fix is the Fix.

  109. 109
    efgoldman says:

    @enif:

    i guess it wouldn’t be good for the bottom line if i had been exposed before the election

    That makes no sense for them. The last couple of days must be driving page clicks and physical sales like crazy.

  110. 110
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: #68

    Adam, in thinking about the time line, I was wondering if you know who were the actual Trump people who changed the republican platform re Ukraine?

  111. 111
    sigaba says:

    Christ. I wonder how Donald and Melania’s Valentines Day is going.

  112. 112
    Timurid says:

    @Mnemosyne: Comey is compromised, or he’s a Nazi. There is no Option C.

  113. 113
    Karen says:

    The question is, since the GOP has said they have no interest in investigations and Dems alone are outnumbered, how will anything happen?

  114. 114
    Renie says:

    since a lot of this was known before the elections, who was the final authority on putting no relevance on this to have it blow up back then? comey, mc connell, media?

  115. 115
    scott (the other one) says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I know this is like asking why water is wet, but how the fuck did Flynn think he was going to get away with lying about this to the FBI? This is not some jamoke who’s never dealt with the feds before or have no idea of how they operate. The only thing I can think of is that he looked at the way Comey treated Clinton and Trump and figured he was safe.

    Speaking of, at some point Comey’s going to have to answer not only for his treatment of EMAILZ! but also of giving a pass to a candidate he had evidence was tainted by the Russians. History is not going to speak well of ol’ James.

  116. 116
    TriassicSands says:

    Anyone care to predict what Donald Twitler will be tweeting in the morning? Or will it be blessed “silence?”

  117. 117
    Ian G. says:

    If this were ancient Rome or medieval Japan, I’m guessing Comey would have committed suicide by now.

  118. 118
    Eric S. says:

    @rikyrah: I was thinking earlier today I didn’t want to say anything nice about Nixon, but, EVENTUALLY, he knew when to resign. To be fair that might say more about the differences between the congresses of the times than the presidents. Still, Nixon left. I don’t see Trumplethinskin doing the same.

  119. 119
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @pamelabrown53: I believe Manafort was still around then, and that would have been a priority for him.

  120. 120
    p.a. says:

    @TriassicSands: I already regret mentioning it; it may now be used in the ‘replace’ part of ‘repeal and replace’ Rethug ‘health’ plan.

  121. 121
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @sigaba: she’s in New York making Barron cabbage soup or “working out” with her “personal trainer”, he’s in DC wearing his Valentine’s Day bathrobe, eating KFC and re-watching today Morning Joe

  122. 122
    efgoldman says:

    @rikyrah:

    it hurts to say anything positive about Tricky Dick….😄😄

    It’s only positive in the arithmetical sense of being less negative. Being a mugger is less negative than being a serial killer, too. Still doesn’t let the mugger off the hook.

  123. 123
    sdhays says:

    @Tim F.: I’m sure that a number of them think that, but have they already poisoned that well, so to speak? We’re in week 4 of the Republican Administration and all we’ve seen is chaos and incompetence at best. The hand-picked National Security Advisor was such lying, incompetent (traitorous?) boob that the IC apparently felt the need to “take him out” after less than a month in office. The Occupant (because calling him “The President” just isn’t respectful to the office) lounges around and blithely discusses North Korea from his crappy country club in Florida where everyone and their guests can join in.

    In short, the last several weeks have been such a shit show, not just related to national security but definitely including national security, that if something did happen half of the country is not going to just shut up and let Dump pretend to be some kind of master war leader and blame the attack on the super-competent Obama Administration and at least part of the other half isn’t going to have any heart for rallying around this fool (traitor?). And, sure, it could be used as a Reichstag fire-like pretext to silence critics, but they seem to have already irrevocably alienated the very people in the government they would need to pull that off successfully. I think they’re so totally in over their heads that an actual attack might be “Trump’s Katrina”…

  124. 124

    @dr. bloor: It’s too late to be talking about legality. (The Republican Party certainly has no concern for it.) It must be clear by now to everyone that the 1787 Constitution has been abrogated and is no longer in force — too many of its provisions have been seen to be violated without consequence. In order to go forward, there is going to have to be a complete break of institutional continuity.

  125. 125
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: Which just kills me, as 99% of this blog knew about that dinner and those connections about a year ago? More? Arrrghh!

  126. 126
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @pamelabrown53: It was a dude named J.D. Gordon, acting on direct instructions from Manafort. Gordon parted ways with the campaign a while later. He was just a messenger boy at the convention.

  127. 127
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Timurid: No. Here’s my take on this (again): Comey painted himself into a corner with his last honest man in DC schtick. It allowed the anti-Clinton elements in the NY Field Office and Jason Chaffetz to manipulate him into tripping over his highly self regarded integrity. Because the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, and now transition and Administration, runs in a different office, with different lines of reporting, and is completely compartmented, not saying anything about it is actually the right thing to do, no matter how frustrating and hypocritical and double standard like it seems to everyone on the outside. I’m not saying Comey should be left off the hook for wrong footing himself/allowing himself to be wrong footed in regard to Secretary Clinton. Rather, I’m saying that he’s doing the right thing here the right way.

  128. 128
    dr. bloor says:

    @sigaba: Probably like most others. He’s tweeting about his Yuuuuge Election Win and Impeachment numbers in DC, while she’s getting nailed by her tennis instructor back in Trump Tower.

  129. 129
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: You’d feel better about him if you followed him on Twitter…=)

  130. 130
    patroclus says:

    Color me skeptical on whether this leads to Trump’s removal from office. Sessions is now AG, there is no special prosecutor, the Congress is controlled by Trumpniks. The FBI historian on TRMS was saying that it was going to be McCain and Comey that would be the patriots that stood up for America, but I have my doubts about that. Obviously, we don’t know the evidence that the NSA et. al. have as yet and we don’t know whether anyone will turn tail and go state’s evidence if they are squeezed. Is there a John Dean out there? I’m doubtful. The constant deceit coming from the WH (all elements), to me, indicates, that they will fight this with all the strength they can muster. I think that the government is going to wall itself off into factions and that this is only going to go downhill from here. Our constitution is unraveling before our eyes and I’m doubtful whether we’ll come out on the other side all right.

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @pamelabrown53: My understanding from the timeline would be Manafort and Page. But I’m not sure anyone really knows for sure. The reporting has been murky on those details.

  132. 132
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    Adam, thoughts?

    Malcolm Nance ‏@MalcolmNance
    1. Trump staffers caught by NSA/CIA in comms w/Russian Intelligence services during election. We are now fully in Benedict Arnold territory.
    2. We are one step away fm Trump in direct collusion w/ Putin. Election legitimacy now in full question. A Constitutional Crisis is coming.

    N.B.I inverted the order for easier reading.

  133. 133
    randy khan says:

    I never would have guessed which line from SNL last Saturday would end up being the one that resonated the most this week:

    I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me!

    Just unbelievable. And it’s only Tuesday.

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sigaba: He’s in DC, she’s in NY. How do you think its going?

  135. 135
    Jeffro says:

    @Frank Wilhoit:

    In order to go forward, there is going to have to be a complete break of institutional continuity.

    I think there are other legal & constitutional options. If a hostile foreign power’s intelligence operation resulted in my – and a majority of my countrymen & women’s – votes being nullified, that violates my constitutional rights. We can have a new election, or declare the majority’s votes as having elected their candidate, and either way there is still a decent legal, constitutional case to be made. No need for a break in the law or continuity.

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scott (the other one):

    I know this is like asking why water is wet, but how the fuck did Flynn think he was going to get away with lying about this to the FBI?

    Flynn may still skate. You think that Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is going to prosecute him when he’s busy blocking non-whites from the voting booth?

    Now, if Flynn ends up being subject to a court martial, that could be a whole other story.

  137. 137
    p.a. says:

    If not for the fact that we’re bristling with weapons, overflowing with teh stoopid, and yet still the leading economic nation on the planet, imagine the fun people in other, functioning democracies could be having watching the ‘last best hope’ be run by an emotional and mental infant and a coterie of suckups and grifters.

  138. 138
    Calouste says:

    @Timurid: Option C is “All of the Above”

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @scott (the other one): I don’t know. I do not know and have never met LTG Flynn. I do not know why he seems to have forgotten that we collect SIGINT on the Russian Embassy and the Russian personnel there.

  140. 140
    Eric S. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m sure Melania is safer than she’s been in years.

  141. 141
    Timurid says:

    @patroclus: What if the 2/28 joint session ends with Trump on stage arm in arm with Ryan, McConnell and Sessions, shaking his fist at the camera and shouting, “BRING IT ON, MOTHERFUCKERS!”

    Then we really are fucked.

  142. 142
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Thank you!!!!

  143. 143
    frosty says:

    @Jeffro: My Trump voting neighbors in PA aren’t going to buy any argument to nullify the election based on some pointy-heads saying it was Putin’s fault. The guns will be coming out.

  144. 144
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Senior Chief Nance knows this stuff, in terms of the technical work/tradecraft, better than I do. But he and I have been in agreement on this since last Spring. His book on this is excellent. My only quibble is that I think we’ve been in a Constitutional crisis since the transition and the IC went to war starting back in December.

  145. 145
    Eric S. says:

    @Mnemosyne: Flynn was retired right? Is he subject to court martial at this point?

    Forgive me, I’m a bottle of red into the night and am too lazy to Google it.

  146. 146
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And there is always the presidential pardon. I expect it to be used extensively before Trump leaves office.

  147. 147
    Lizzy L says:

    @Frank Wilhoit:

    In order to go forward, there is going to have to be a complete break of institutional continuity.

    What would that even look like?

  148. 148
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    No, I think it’s more important to be seen as the grownups in the room. America will be watching, y’ know.

  149. 149
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Eric S.: I believe is subject to recall at anytime and thus also subject to the USCMJ. But that’s a guess.

  150. 150
    TriassicSands says:

    @p.a.:

    Well, it would certainly help keep costs down.

  151. 151
    Eric S. says:

    @Timurid: I’m scheduled for rotator cuff surgery 2/28. I’ll be home and maybe turn on the speech but the pain killers should mercifully prevent me from remembering anyth in NH that happens.

  152. 152
    p.a. says:

    If (as) this downward spiral continues, they really will have to instigate a war, instigate or allow a terrorist attack, just to roll the dice that they could turn the polls around.

  153. 153
    amk says:

    @frosty: Really? And these clowns will shoot who exactly?

  154. 154
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dr. bloor: Who are the first four?

  155. 155
    sdhays says:

    @scott (the other one): I suspect that he thought that once Dump ascended to the Oval Office he would be untouchable as he would be protected by Dump’s Imperial Presidency. But I too am struck by how incompetent this guy seems, just in how poorly it sounds like the NSC was being run.

    What really mystifies me is how compromised he seems, and how little he or anyone around him seemed to care. That’s why the word treason keeps coming back to my mind. To me, it sounds like he went off the deep end while in Iraq. Even accepting that he genuinely came to believe that we should be working much, much closer with the Russians, his fawning, reckless behavior was really bizarre and should have been disqualifying for consideration to any new post in national security.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric S.:

    Someone in another thread was saying he’s still subject to UCMJ in retirement, but I don’t actually know.

  157. 157
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Eric S.: Yes he is. Even as a retired general officer, he’s subject to emolument issues as delineated in the Constitution. Taking payments from RT to attend the gala, speak there, etc may have violated the emoluments clause. The Department of the Army is investigating. Also, he’s been retired for only about 3 years, so is subject to recall. He can still be court martialed over this.

  158. 158
    patroclus says:

    I think, basically, that this leak was a warning shot across the bow that the career professionals in the IC know everything about what was communicated and by whom whenever throughout the past year. They know who is complicit and who isn’t. But what can they do about it? Right now, all they’re doing is leaking and fueling the inter-agency investigation. That may be as far as they will be able to go. The Republicans have a lot of power and could conceivably shut it down with no ramifications – Sessions, a loyalist is now the AG and the Congress might not do anything other than secret hearings. We “may” find out the truth, but whether it goes beyond that is anyone’s guess at this juncture.

  159. 159
    dr. bloor says:

    @Frank Wilhoit:

    It must be clear by now to everyone that the 1787 Constitution has been abrogated

    You must socialize in tight circles. The whole “nuts with legality” stuff is a recipe for a civil war.

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lizzy L: You don’t want to open that can of worms. Just like the last thing anyone should want is a Convention of the States to amend the Constitution.

  161. 161
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Eric S.:

    I was thinking earlier today I didn’t want to say anything nice about Nixon, but, EVENTUALLY, he knew when to resign.

    Not really. It took an intervention from the GOP to tell him that the party had turned against him, that he would be impeached, that he was done.

  162. 162
    sdhays says:

    @🚸 Martin: Well, he belonged to a better Republican Party. How’s that for praise?

  163. 163
    TriassicSands says:

    Flynn was retired right? Is he subject to court martial at this point?

    From the UCMJ:

    “retired members of a regular component of the armed forces who are entitled to pay.”

    Under those circumstances (“entitled to pay”) the general could be subject to a court martial. However, the offense, I would guess, would have to be dealt with in the UCMJ (for anyone who doesn’t know that’s the Uniform Code of Military Justice (or what we called the Guilty Until Proven Guilty Code of Military Injustice).

  164. 164
    Eric S. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: thank you and others who answered. My 20 years as a COBOL programmer did not prepare me to answer that question.

    I hope, no wish, he or someone in the administration takes down the whole thing but I’m not holding my breath. I don’t see how the institutions and those that populate them make or allow that to happen.

  165. 165
    Greg says:

    @Eric S.:

    Robert Bateman touched on this at Brother Pierce’s joint today. Short answer, probably not. Longer answer, http://www.esquire.com/news-po.....ia-result/

  166. 166
    dr. bloor says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s actually a better question. I have a hard time seeing SCOTUS toss aside the impeachment process only because the successor in all likelihood would be another Republican.

  167. 167
    Bupalos says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That just reminds me how much Trump is allowed to get away with politically outside the norms. He’s not only divorced and divorced again, he’s “married” to basically a Russian mail order model who can’t successfully conceal her hatred for him.

  168. 168
    Lizzy L says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh, I absolutely do not want to go there. It was a thought experiment question only — possibly a hazardous one.

  169. 169

    Can anyone see any way this ends up with someone better than Trump in the Oval Office? These days it’s wingnuts all the way down.

  170. 170
    frosty says:

    @amk: They’ll shoot me and anyone who was stupid enough to put a Hillary or Obama sticker on their car. I wasn’t. I still don’t have any faith I’d survive the aftermath of a rational well-thought out reversal of the election. Uncharted territory means we need more than majority opinion. Even then our fabled 27% can do a lot of harm.

  171. 171
    randy khan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s an interesting problem for Sessions.

    The initial decision probably is made by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, which if the U.S. Attorney’s office page and the guy’s Linked In page are still up to date, is Channing Phillips, appointed by Obama. (If he’s gone, it’s a career person keeping the seat warm.) And if reports are right, they have Flynn for lying to the FBI as well as the Logan Act violation. If the plan to prosecute gets run up the flagpole and Sessions says no, you can be sure there would be a noisy resignation, particularly if it’s still Phillips as U.S. Attorney, but likely even if it’s a career person. (Then the Saturday Night Massacre parallels look pretty strong, with Sessions as the bad guy.) If Sessions lets it go forward, then the whole gang is at risk because they easily could cut a deal with Flynn unless Flynn wants to go full Gordon Liddy. (He doesn’t strike me as being that brave, but he could be that stupid.)

  172. 172
    efgoldman says:

    @Bupalos:

    He’s not only divorced and divorced again, he’s “married” to basically a Russian mail order model who can’t successfully conceal her hatred for him.

    Distasteful, maybe. Shows some of his personal failings, certainly.
    But has fuck all to do with the subject at hand. Just doesn’t matter, and right now is the least of the problems with him and his merry band. In fact, below least. Nobody cares.

  173. 173
    Eric S. says:

    @🚸 Martin: I was born in 71 and have no conscious memory of Nixon. I know any positive statement about him needs to be tempered. Heavily! I tried to relay that thought with the comparison of the 2 congresses.

  174. 174
    Timurid says:

    This sounds totally bananas, but at least the author writes for the Guardian and not INFOWARS.

  175. 175
    Lizzy L says:

    According to CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday it’s “highly likely” the Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s discussions with the Russian ambassador.

  176. 176
    Sandia Blanca says:

    @Timurid: Oooh, I was just coming here to see if anyone had asked Adam about this one yet. So intrigued by Louise Mensch’s twitter feed, and her Unified Theory of Russian Interference (not its real name). Would love to hear Adam’s take on this.

  177. 177
    Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire) says:

    Military retirement pay is considered retainer pay. Retired members can be recalled back to active duty until age 52.* Apparently, it’s really a big pain in the ass for retired service members to get called up involuntarily.** The services have to prove the need for it, per regulation.

    * At least for retired enlisted. Don’t know about retired flag officers, and I don’t know how old Flynn is.

    ** Even if retired service members want to go back in, it’s kind of difficult. Not impossible, just….not easy. Unless you were facing, you know, UCMJ. ;-)

  178. 178
    Jack the Second says:

    @GregB: 70% of men over 70…

  179. 179
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sandia Blanca: I’ve seen it, when she first posted it. Parts of it make logical sense. Parts of it seem to be somewhat informed wishful thinking. She did break the FISA warrant issued in OCT at Heat Street. So she seems to have some good sources. My understanding is she was considered to be a somewhat dim Tory Party backbencher, but I have no idea as I didn’t live in Britain at the time. It may be that she has very good sources and she’s punching above her weight class.

  180. 180

    @🚸 Martin: I remember the video on the nightly news that day of Senator Goldwater speaking to the press after leaving the White House.

  181. 181
    TriassicSands says:

    @efgoldman:

    He never tried to give the fucking country away.

    It seems pretty clear now that Nixon did act to sabotage LBJ’s peace initiative. See the article in the NY Times on Dec. 31, 2016. Given how many people died in Vietnam (and I’m not just talking about Americans) after Nixon took office (with his imaginary secret plan to end the war), I’d say his crime was greater than anything we know Trump has committed.

  182. 182
    celticdragonchick says:

    @🚸 Martin: I agree.

  183. 183
    Seth Owen says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire): I don’t think there is an age limit for officers. It’s one of the differences between commissioning and enlisting. There was a military psychologist called up for Iraq who was in his late 60s because they had a critical shortage of that skill.

  184. 184
    El Caganer says:

    @patroclus: I agree. Not trying to pee on anybody’s birthday cake here, but the only ways I see Donald leaving the WH is if (a) he gets bored, (b) his feelings get hurt too much, or (c) his plumbing springs a leak and they have to carry him out in a body bag. Republicans are ringmasters for the whole circus, and they’re not going to do shit.

  185. 185
    TriassicSands says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Can anyone see any way this ends up with someone better than Trump in the Oval Office?

    We’re not going to get someone with a better agenda, but for the good of the country, anyone with minimal competence would be better than Trump. I hate to say that, but having someone as incompetent as Trump is in the White House is very, very dangerous.

  186. 186
    randy khan says:

    (For those who also hang out at LGM, sorry for the repeat post.)

    Just a reminder that it couldn’t hurt to get in touch with the people in charge of the Intelligence Committees. Burr and Warner on the Senate side already say they want to investigate the Flynn/Russia situation, but positive reinforcement is good. Nunes so far is keeping his head in the sand, so he needs a push. Here’s the contact information:

    Senate

    Chair: Richard Burr (R-NC) Contact page

    Vice Chair: Mark Warner (D-VA) Contact page (links to comment and to get phone numbers on this page)

    House

    Chair: Devin Nunes (R-CA) Contact page Phone: (202) 225-2523 (Oddly, he doesn’t list this on his contact page; maybe he’s getting too many calls.)

    Ranking member: Adam Schiff (D-CA) Contact page

  187. 187
    Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire) says:

    @Seth Owen: I can believe that. It’s that retirement pay that’s making him subject to UCMJ, on top of that emolument clause. If tried and sentenced, with no pardon, it’s USDB time for him.

  188. 188
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Nixon was clearly a war criminal, but that’s still not the same as conspiring to turn control of the US over to a foreign power.

  189. 189
    Lizzy L says:

    Martin Longman, aka Booman, has a couple of interesting articles up at Washington Monthly: “Flynn is Gone, but the President is Still There,” and “The Blackmail Story Doesn’t Add Up.” Readers of Adam’s posts and comments will not be surprised at the material covered, particularly in the article about the blackmail story and its plausibility, but they are both worth a read.

  190. 190
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I must have missed something. I haven’t seen any evidence of anyone turning control of the US over to a foreign power.

  191. 191
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TriassicSands: You wouldn’t have seen much evidence of a burglary of the DNC in May of ’72. Doesn’t that Watergate wasn’t in process.

  192. 192
    Wag says:

    @TriassicSands:

    A. For public consumption
    B. Truth

  193. 193
    Vhh says:

    @Adam L Silverman: like maybe he went a little funny in the head?

  194. 194
    🚸 Martin says:

    @scott (the other one):

    I know this is like asking why water is wet, but how the fuck did Flynn think he was going to get away with lying about this to the FBI? This is not some jamoke who’s never dealt with the feds before or have no idea of how they operate. The only thing I can think of is that he looked at the way Comey treated Clinton and Trump and figured he was safe.

    I’m going to bastardize a saying: Extraordinary goals require extraordinary risks. One thing in common among everyone in the WH is that they all see Muslims as an existential threat. Bannon sees them as a threat to Christians. Flynn probably just to the US, or to the west, etc. If their goal was to build a white nationalist Christian alliance with Russia against Muslims – which is a move Putin has also made in his domestic policy, then this makes a bit more sense.

    That’s a big lift, and it would require doing a lot of risky things. Since the intelligence communities work for the WH, they probably believed they could keep the whole thing contained. Their biggest weakness is Trump going off half-cocked at every slight and making an enemy of the IC, and the IC now leaking damaging information about them to every corner. Even if someone like Comey were complicit with this, at some point he has to either continue to resist and become a suspect, or realize that the effort is beat and let the unwinding take place.

    We often learn of some pretty shady stuff after the fact, such as with the bedside lobbying of Ashcroft to renew the Bush domestic spying program. Brazen stuff happens all the time in DC, with the assumption that there’s enough people that either agree with you or believe that your actions would undermine faith in the government that they cover it up.

    Consider all of the decisions leading into the election, when links to Russia were known but nobody wanted to go screaming about them out of fear that there would be chaos around the election and democracy permanently damaged. That may still be the outcome, but a lot of people held back fearing that.

  195. 195
    Yarrow says:

    Dang. I take a little time out for dinner and a movie and all hell breaks loose!

    I’ll say again, the longer Republicans slow walk this whole thing, the worse it’s going to be for them. I think they think they can save themselves. They cannot. He’ll take everyone down before he goes and those he hasn’t taken down before, he’ll take down with him when he goes. Their best bet is to investigate and clean house. They don’t seem to get it because they’re party before country and have been for a long time. I am not sorry if they all get swept out, but I worry about the country.

  196. 196
    Sandia Blanca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks Adam. You are my benchmark for sanity in this confusing maelstrom. Also wonder if you’ve read this piece by Robert Bateman.

  197. 197
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Vhh:

    And then he went and did a silly thing …

  198. 198
    Ruckus says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):
    I rarely check in on FB now, as I don’t really like swimming in cesspools. However my friends are all liberals, otherwise they aren’t my friends but there are a few who continue to not unfriend the absolute assholes. So it’s just a waste of time for the most part. Especially my HS reunion group, because there are some real nutters there. My 50th is this yr and I’m actually no longer looking forward to it, I will go but I expect there to be some hurt feelings at the very least.

  199. 199
    sukabi says:

    @Calouste: how does drumpfs hired private security fit into your scenario? He’s still has them on our payroll, right?

  200. 200
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sukabi: There is not going to be a military coup.

  201. 201
    frosty says:

    @Ruckus: I’ve been going to HS reunions regularly. Ever since Obama was elected they’ve been pretty dodgy.

  202. 202
    sukabi says:

    @sigaba: same as it’s been for the last 10 years…you don’t think they actually spend any time together, unless drumpf could make a photo ok out of it…pretty sure he’s not thinking about her at this time.

  203. 203
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @frosty: I have been to my 10, skipped the 20, and, for some reason, prior to the sign-up date, the committee canceled the 30. I don’t really care; I knew those people for four years. It was involuntary. Meh. College reunions are more interesting. We, at least, made the choice of the same college and took Freshman Studies together.

  204. 204
    J R in WV says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    We did have that conversation before the election – not enough people were paying attention, especially not much of the news media!

    EMAILS!!! When it should have been Russians!!!!

  205. 205
    sukabi says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: wasn’t suggesting there would be, was adding in an element that hasn’t been brought up…drumpfs private security detail and how it would play in sigma’s scenario..

  206. 206
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sukabi: I was saying that the scenario is impossible because a military coup won’t happen.

  207. 207
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @🚸 Martin: The state of our union is “hosed.”

  208. 208

    @TriassicSands: We might, however, get a very competent pol with a hard right agenda. Not impossible we get Ryan/McConnell, for instance, or even Ryan/Paul. I’m all for confusion to our enemies, but I don’t want a worse enemy to end up in charge.

  209. 209
    sukabi says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I know, that’s why they’re leaking, so it won’t go that far.

    Intel guys need to start leaking dirt on Chaffetz & Ryan to persuade them to either do their damned jobs or resign…

  210. 210
    Ruckus says:

    @frosty:
    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I went to my 10th and have only in the last 5 yrs had any contact since the late 70s. Went to a birthday party a couple of years ago for all of us that turned 65, which of course was the vast majority of the class. Still some friends, some I now refuse to talk to for obvious reasons, and catching up to do. I did just attend the funeral of a pretty decent HS friend and sat and discussed life with another. I think it’s worth a few bucks and a short drive to go just to have a discussion of life and it’s foibles with people who’ve been doing it for the same length of time.

  211. 211
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @TriassicSands:
    In “A” replace “was” with “feigned being”

  212. 212
    Ruckus says:

    I remember reading history that many comparisons have been made about our government structure and that of other enduring nations. Ours has endured some very serious moments with some minor and some serious bumps in the road. But those comparisons all had somewhat of a disclaimer and that is that we have to trust the 3 branches to keep checks on each other. Right now we don’t have that as a real possibility. The executive is rotten as rotten can be at the top and only the incompetence and absolute lack of experience will slow that down. The congressional side has been mostly broken for a number of years (with a few exceptions here and there) and remains quite broken currently. The court of course is short a member and so I’d say that at best the most hopeful outcome is that a couple jump ship.
    So what I see is that we have to apply massive pressure on congress, for most of them to grow a pair and do their fucking jobs. Even with the leaks and faintly possible UCMJ sanctions there isn’t a lot that can be done in any straight forward manner. And yet it’s way too volatile a situation to be left to it’s own devices. To me this is the real achilles heel of the way our government is set up, we are left with almost noting in the way of redress in the case of a massive fuck up of the government, they are supposed to redress it themselves. And there is very little incentive and probably even less desire for them to do this.

  213. 213
    danielx says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    All true, but those guys are less likely to blow the planet off its axis through sheer incompetence. Given the choice, I’ll take an adult human using rational means to accomplish his ends, disagreeable though they might be, over a spoiled ten year old who has never been told ‘no’ by anybody. One who has never suffered any real consequences for his actions…in a seventy year old man’s body, and one who doesn’t appear to be in the best of health at that.

    That business about living in interesting times? Forget it, give me boredom (in a general sense) any time.

  214. 214
    AxelFoley says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Sure wish America had had this conversation BEFORE THE FUCKING ELECTION!

    THIS! All this fuckin shit coulda been avoided.

    But, NOOOOOOOOO the media just had to worry about some damn emails.

    Nah, the media is complicit in Trump’s rise and occupation of the White House. This is what they wanted, so fuck ’em.

  215. 215
    TriassicSands says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    What is happening now is weakening Trump. He is at the mercy of the Republicans (and maybe the Russians, too). He’s going to sign everything that Ryan and McConnell send to his desk. It would be the difference between having someone who might inadvertently start a war and someone who wouldn’t. I don’t think there would be the slightest difference in legislation passed or lives ruined. Unless we can affect policy with massive public outcries, that’s what we’re headed for regardless of who is in the White House.

    Example: Trump doesn’t care about LGBT rights. He has no agenda to hurt members of that group. But he chose Sessions as his AG and Sessions will, without interference from Trump, do as he pleases with regard to the LGBT community.

  216. 216
    Gretchen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m not liking that. I have a daughter in New York. I know I’m safe here in Kansas, but I want to know that my baby is safe too. And she can’t move back to Kansas, because idiot Sam Brownback has destroyed the state economy with his real-life experiment showing that tax cuts create economic growth. Which experiment failed, but he won’t admit it.

  217. 217
    Booger says:

    @🚸 Martin: But just remember how Laura Roslin grew into the job!

  218. 218
    NorthLeft12 says:

    “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war,”

    Sorry, maybe I’m being too literal here, but if the US is at war now, then aren’t you always at war?

    And as a final observation, this is what you get when you elect Republicans. Turmoil is what they do.

  219. 219
    AMinNC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is exactly what I have been trying to get across whenever I comment on this issue – the rot goes FAR beyond Flynn, and Manafort, and Trump. Pence, McConnell – we know for sure these guys had access to the intelligence on this long before the proverbial shit hit the fan, and they purposely sat on it for partisan gain. Do you know if Paul Ryan would have also been briefed in advance on all of this (I assume so)? What do you think the chances are of an independent counsel/special prosecutor being appointed? So many Republicans in leadership in both the Executive and Legislative branches would seem to be implicated here, they are going to dig in like nothing we’ve seen. And I hold little to no hope that there is a Howard Baker among them.

  220. 220

    @dr. bloor: Make a case that the institutions are functioning! You can’t do it. Congress has thrown its prerogatives to the floor like a baby in a high chair flinging its dinner. You can mop up the spaghetti, but you can’t make it edible again. Ditto the Supreme Court (in re Bush v. Gore). Once an institution has been seen to fail to defend its prerogatives, that institution is a broken reed. You can’t use it any more. The Constitution defines a set of institutions, and those institutions have committed public suicide. It doesn’t matter which faction you belong to, and therefore which of the institutions were your favorites; they’ve all collapsed. Whatever happens next will happen outside the 1787 Constitution. As always, my word need not be taken. Wait and watch.

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